Whole-Roasted Harissa Chicken

This whole-roasted chicken recipe gets a touch of heat from harissa paste for a super-flavorful main dish. Stuffing the cavity with fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley and a head of garlic imparts deep flavor. Serve with couscous or brown rice.

a recipe photo of the Whole Roasted Harissa Chicken
Photo: Salima Benkhalti
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins


  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste (see Tip)

  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, stems trimmed

  • ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, including stems

  • 1 head garlic, cut in half lengthwise


  1. Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top.

  2. Place chicken breast-side up on the rack; pat dry with paper towels. Season with oil, salt and pepper. Rub harissa over the chicken, making sure to get it under the skin above the breast and under the wings. Stuff the cavity with cilantro, parsley and garlic. Roast until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast without touching bone registers 165℉, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving. Discard cilantro, parsley and garlic.


Parchment paper


Harissa paste is a fiery North African condiment made with roasted chile peppers. Find it in tubes or jars at well-stocked grocery stores or online.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

233 Calories
12g Fat
1g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 4 oz.
Calories 233
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Protein 28g 56%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Vitamin A 54IU 1%
Vitamin D 5IU 1%
Vitamin E 1mg 4%
Folate 6mcg 2%
Vitamin K 3mcg 3%
Sodium 413mg 18%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Magnesium 25mg 6%
Potassium 243mg 5%
Zinc 2mg 18%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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